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GOP lawmakers offer several locations for Trump address

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden MORE won’t be delivering the State of the Union address on the House floor on Jan. 29, but GOP lawmakers are offering a number of alternatives for him to consider.

Most of them involve their own districts, as many of the Republicans would love to host Trump’s speech — if he decides to deliver it someplace outside the Capitol.

Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseHouse Republicans slated to hold leadership election on Nov. 17 McCarthy faces pushback from anxious Republicans over interview comments Jordan vows to back McCarthy as leader even if House loses more GOP seats MORE (R-La.) said Trump could come down to the Superdome in New Orleans.  

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“We are gonna be a little more free the next couple weeks than we should be after the Saints were robbed,” Scalise told The Hill, referring to the NFL team’s loss on a controversial referee’s call on Sunday.

Rep. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisLawmakers say infrastructure efforts are falling victim to deepening partisan divide The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states Democrats seek wave to bolster House majority MORE (R-Ill.) said the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., would be a “great place” for Trump to give the speech. That was the site of Abraham Lincoln’s historic speech in which he uttered the words: “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.”

“No. 1, it’s in my district. No. 2, it’s great symbolism to talk about how divided government is now and how we need to come together, offer a plan to end the shutdown that’s hurting so many people in this country,” Davis, chairman of the Main Street Caucus, told the Hill.

Rep. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellGOP lawmaker calls Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' Overnight Defense: Congress recommends nuclear arms treaty be extended | Dems warn Turkey | Military's eighth COVID death identified Bipartisan congressional task force recommends extending nuclear treaty with Russia MORE (R-Mich.) said he’s suggested a variety of options to the White House.

“I think you need to keep the decorum of the State of the Union so it's not simply a rally — it's a State of the Union address, so you need to keep that decorum in place,”  he said.

He suggested finding a place where Trump could engage more with Americans.

“There are places that hold more people comfortably than the House floor does by far — we're not likely to see many Democrats so there'll be more space anyway,” he said.

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“I'd love to see it done in Cincinnati, Ohio, which is my district,” joked Rep. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotDemocrats seek wave to bolster House majority House Judiciary Republicans mockingly tweet 'Happy Birthday' to Hillary Clinton after Barrett confirmation Democrats, GOP fighting over largest House battlefield in a decade MORE (R). “But in all seriousness, I mean I could see the president doing it at the border or doing it at a stadium or someplace where a lot of people could come in and hear the address. I think it ought to be held here, but if not, I'd like to see it out there somewhere in America and let the American people be involved in it.”

There has been talk of the president holding the address in the Senate, a smaller chamber controlled by Republicans.

Chabot was one of many Republicans who said holding the speech at the border could be an effective strategy in demonstrating their call for increased border security.

“I think that’s up to the president — if I was him I’d go to the border where there’s a whole bunch of folks and have that in the background,” said Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power Business groups back pandemic insurance bill modeled on post-9/11 law National Retail Federation hosts virtual 'store tours' for lawmakers amid coronavirus MORE (R-Ohio). “Not in Texas, but actually where the caravans are." 

“Don't you think having a speech that night with the wall behind him would be powerful?” Rep. Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckThe rhetoric of techlash: A source of clarity or confusion? Hillicon Valley: Congressional antitrust report rips tech firms | Facebook tightens ban on QAnon content | Social media groups urged to weed out disinformation targeting minority voters Congressional antitrust report rips tech firms for stifling competition MORE (R-Colo.) said to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday evening.  

Biggs seconded Buck’s sentiment, saying he thinks it could help the president demonstrate why he believes a border wall is a necessary component in securing the border.

“I would like to see him do it at the edge. So, in a place like one of the places we were at yesterday,” the Arizona Republican told The Hill.

“You see the wall and you see this little barbed-wire fence on rickety sticks, the little gate was tied up with a rope with a slipknot on it in case anybody wants to cross the border illegally. They could just take the rope off and pull it down and go through. I think Ken's right.”

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck Pelosi challenger calls delay on COVID-19 relief bill the 'privilege of politics' MORE (D-Calif.) in stating Wednesday that the House would not vote on a motion inviting Trump to come to the House to deliver the address, said it should not be held during the partial government shutdown, which is now in its 33rd day.

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) said she believes the president should deliver the remarks at the Capitol even if Pelosi retracts the invitation, but said he’s welcome in her home district if he chooses.

“How about Peoria, Ariz., where I live — we can take him over to the Peoria sports complex,” she joked.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsWinter COVID-19 wave poses threat to nation's hospitals Critics blast 'two-faced liar' Miles Taylor after revelation as NYT 'anonymous' author Ex-DHS official reveals himself as 'Anonymous' MORE (R-N.C.) said while a speech at the border would send a message, it wouldn’t be an official State of the Union.

“You know, listen, there's a number of options whether it's on the Senate side, in the Oval Office or on the border,” he told The Hill.  “I mean maybe the president goes to Texas or Arizona, you know, and makes an address — it wouldn't be a State of the Union — but an official address from those places. At this point, I think everybody wants to hear what he plans to do for the upcoming year and it would be well received.”